The Veteran’s Administration estimates that there are more than 12 million veterans in the United States who are over the age of 65. Many of these veterans are not aware of the benefits available to them through the VA.

Two programs that are especially helpful for senior citizens are Aid and Attendance and Housebound. These benefits are in addition to a monthly pension, and the veteran must be eligible for a pension to receive these funds. These programs raise the pension amount, but there are many conditions on receiving these benefits. 

Aid and Attendance 

A&A is for veterans who require assistance to perform personal tasks, like bathing, dressing and feeding, but A&A is also available for bedridden veterans, apart from convalescence. If your eyesight has failed or you are a patient in a nursing home, you might qualify for A&A. 

Housebound benefits 

This pension amount can be added to your regular pension if you are confined to your home or immediate premises due to a permanent disability. You cannot receive Housebound and A&A benefits at the same time. 

Other benefits 

All U.S. military veterans are eligible for a wide variety of benefits, including disability compensation, pension, home loans, insurance and burial. Some benefits have changed in recent years. World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans may have additional benefits for specific experiences during the war. For example, World War II veterans who were exposed to ionizing radiation have additional benefits for certain cancers as a result of this exposure. Vietnam War veterans can receive compensation for exposure to Agent Orange, as can their children. 

Applying for benefits 

If you are in the stages of planning for retirement or need help with obtaining veterans’ benefits, an estate planning attorney can help you find the right benefits which you are eligible for and which fit your needs. In some cases, spouses may be eligible for benefits, too.